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Southern Bantoid languages

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Southern Bantoid (or South Bantoid), also known as Wide Bantu or Bin, is a branch of the Benue–Congo languages of the Niger–Congo language family. It consists of the Bantu languages (also called Narrow Bantu) along with several small branches and isolates of eastern Nigeria and west-central Cameroon (though the affiliation of some branches is uncertain). Since the Bantu languages are spoken across most of Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Bantoid comprises 643 languages as counted by Ethnologue, though many of these are mutually intelligible.

Southern Bantoid
Wide Bantu
Geographic
distribution
Sub-Saharan Africa, but not further west than Nigeria
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo
Subdivisions
Glottologsout3152[1]
Map of the Southern Bantoid languages.svg
The Southern Bantoid languages shown within the Niger–Congo language family. Non-Southern Bantoid languages are greyscale.

HistoryEdit

Southern Bantoid was first introduced by Williamson in a proposal that divided Bantoid into North and South branches.[2]

The unity of the North Bantoid group was subsequently called into question, and Bantoid itself may be polyphyletic, but the work did establish Southern Bantoid as a valid genetic unit, something that has not happened for (Narrow) Bantu itself.[3]

Internal classificationEdit

According to Williamson and Blench, Southern Bantoid is divided into the various Narrow Bantu languages, Jarawan, Tivoid, Beboid, Mamfe (Nyang), Grassfields and Ekoid families.[4] The Bendi languages are of uncertain classification; they have traditionally been classed as Cross River, but they may actually be Southern Bantoid.[5] Blench suggests that Tivoid, Momo (ex-Grassfields) and East Beboid may form a group, perhaps with the uncertain languages Esimbi and Buru:[6]

 
The Southern Bantoid branches of Nigeria and Cameroon

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Southern Bantoid". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Williamson, Kay (1989) 'Niger–Congo Overview'. In: The Niger–Congo languages, ed. by John Bendor-Samuel, 3–45. University Press of America.
  3. ^ Roger Blench. "Niger-Congo classification : Niger-Congo: an alternative view" (PDF). Rogerblench.info. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  4. ^ Williamson, Kay & Blench, Roger (2000) 'Niger–Congo', in Heine, Bernd and Nurse, Derek (eds) African Languages – An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University press, pp. 11–42.
  5. ^ Blench, Roger (2011). "'The membership and internal structure of Bantoid and the border with Bantu" (PDF). Berlin: Humboldt University. p. 17.
  6. ^ Blench, Roger (2010). "The Tivoid Languages" (PDF). pp. 12, 15.